(Photo Credit: Russ Hons-FightingHawks.com)
Last week, the University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks learned more about their team in Montana. They did not concede a goal in 210 minutes of play, improved their defense, and utilized opportunistic strikes from their forwards to take the first game against Idaho. Against Montana on UM’s home turf, they were able to come within inches of an extra-time penalty kick and win with their depth and speed, combined with more superb play from netminder Olivia Swenson.
Today, the team was able to draw on their goal-scorer extraordinaire, senior forward Katie Moller to propel them to the victory.Her three goals now give her six tallies on the season. She earned the first hat trick for this program since 2010 when Rachel Loomis scored three goals against South Carolina State.
Moller’s goals came from three different fighting Hawks. Megan Wright, Ashley Ebeling, and Cassie Giddings all contributed to Katie’s superb day. In addition, these goals each showcased how Moller is able to deal with oppenents,either with speed or by winning battles. She won a battle on a throw in and did not miss for her second score, and was able to use her precision shot on the first and third goals to provide the difference for UND.
As for the rest of the game, Head Coach Chris Logan noted that Minnesota Duluth played quite well. Without Moller on the field this result may have been a bit different. In addition, give credit to the entire UND team for playing sound defense. While they gave up a lot of chances, as Minnesota Duluth had 12 shots total, only six of those were able to get on goal to goalie Olivia Swenson. She has earned the starting job through her consistent play and ability to help set up attacks for UND.
Unlike previous years where she started, Swenson is not being asked to make 15 or more saves a game. She praises her defense at every chance she can, and because of them has less work each game. Thanks to UND’s ability to limit chances on net, the Fighting Hawks will be competitive in the games they play the rest of the way.
The next test for the Fighting Hawks comes Sunday at 2 PM against Bemidji State. The Beavers’ team speed will be the biggest thing UND has to contend with on the fast turf surface this Sunday.